April 20, 2024


The Tour And Travel Enthusiasts

Ask Amy: Wife considers extended vacation from husband’s annual family get-togethers

2 min read
Ask Amy: Wife considers extended vacation from husband’s annual family get-togethers

Dear Amy: My husband’s entire extended family enjoys going on vacations together.

While these family members are amazing, these vacations are very stressful for me.

From trying to figure out what to pack, getting to the airport, checking in, the actual flight, collecting bags etc., the entire process is an anxious one for me.

Then, while we are at our destination, I feel like I completely disappear as far as my husband is concerned. He is there to spend time with his family, not with me.

He enjoys the company of our adult children, but barely even speaks to me. These are the only vacations we go on.

In our more than 30 years of marriage, we’ve only been on two trips on our own, and one of these was with our children when they were young.

He seems to recognize that I am stressed out, but never offers any understanding or comfort. His attitude feels more like, “I guess it sucks to be you.”

I have decided to pass on the upcoming trip.

I feel like I am somehow in the wrong, and maybe it does suck to be me.

Any thoughts?

– Non-traveler

Dear Non-traveler: I agree that – right now – it does suck to be you.

Fortunately, you have the power to suck the suck out of your situation.

This de-sucking process is completely up to you, but it does require that you make a series of choices, as well as exercising options.

Travel anxiety is fairly common. You can learn strategies to cope with your rumination through deep breathing, re-focusing your thoughts by connecting with your senses (research the “3-3-3″ technique), and by seeing a professional therapist to consider treatment for your anxiety.

While on these trips, you could choose to connect with these “amazing” family members, and decide to dive into your own excursions or activities with them – essentially taking a vacation from your husband’s disregard.

And yes – at this point I agree with your choice not to go on this trip (which is a vacation for your husband, but not for you).

While home, you should map out some ways to make your “staycation” memorable and enjoyable. Try a new thing! Learn to play pickleball, poker, or (if you don’t already work outside the home) research volunteer positions or part-time jobs.

And if at some point you do want to go on a vacation with your husband, despite his attitude and disregard toward you, you should plan a getaway for the two of you – and see how he responds.

You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.